This weekend also held a “free for ferals” clinic hosted by the Homeless Cat Management Team, my chosen charity if I win any of the three Petties awards for which I am a finalist. The clinic was intended to serve cats living in colonies outdoors since the surgery and rabies vaccine are free and colony managers could take care of lots of cats at no charge. I had wanted to leave this weekend open for this clinic, both trapping on Saturday and transporting and volunteering at the clinic on Sunday, but Deb had offered the Family Pet Expo.
I decided I could still do some of the work if I could get help from others. I work with an incredible group of people, and I did get the help I needed. One woman on the other side of Pittsburgh just needed traps and she would do the rest, so I asked about traps, everyone organized who had what and Debby Nicola said the woman lived very close to her, so she dropped them off.
Then there was the mama kitty, Liam II (yes, Liam) and her four babies who had been born the day before the last clinic and while I had the babies in hand I was not able to trap Liam that day. Here they are below in May, as tiny newborns.
And their mom.
On the day we had tried to trap her, we had placed the kittens in a box behind the trap in the garage where she’d run to hide, hoping to lure her into the trap. No go. We put the kittens in a box in the garage hoping she’d come back to care for them and they weren’t seen again until just before the clinic. Both mom and the kittens needed to be trapped, which can be tricky, and the mom would return but the kittens would go to a foster home. The kittens are very mobile and they and mom are wary. Kittens are often trapped in smaller traps called squirrel traps, or caught with a drop net. I put out the request for someone to trap them and Dr. Michelle Elgersma offered to do the honors on Saturday. Success! At the top are four hissy kittens! hhhhh!!! hhhhhh!!! pfffffffttt!!! pfffffffttt!!! pfffffffttt!!! They are related to Salem and Sabrina, although one looks just like her mom, and I’m sure they will be friendly, sleek and beautiful in just a couple of months.
Below is yet another black mom cat with kittens!
This black mom cat and five kittens were from a person who had waited too long to get the mom cat spayed and has many cats.
Susanne Lewis, who helped rescue Bernie and his mom and currently fosters them, offered to organize the woman the night before and get them to me in the morning.
Then I had to find someone to bring the cats back to the area—thanks to Margo Cicci Wisniewski—and Susanne Lewis for meeting her and distributing all the cats back to where they belonged.
This sort of teamwork goes on every day with trading traps and arranging transportation, medical care and rescuing cats from wherever they are. And this was just the 11 cats I was working with plus the four for the woman who needed the traps! Imagine what else went on behind the scenes. I didn’t get any photos while I was at the clinic because I was busy unpacking food I’d brought to donate and eating doughnuts, but I did get the orange kittens above and an array of traps with cats in them.
The clinic served between 85 and 90 cats, began with registrations about 7:30 in the morning and Margo was on her way home after 9:00 at night. Thanks to all the volunteers, veterinary technicians and veterinarians who put in a very long day to help stop the overpopulation of cats.
. . . . . . .
Two Other Kittens
Two kittens went through our rescue group who did not go to the clinic. A young woman who lives south of Pittsburgh had been rescuing cats and kittens from a farm near her, and recently found two kittens in a barrel on the farm. They were dirty and had goopy eyes but did not look weak or malnourished, and were frightened but not unfriendly. She could not take any more cats home and was desperate to find a place to take them. They were to go to Debby Nicola since many of her fosters will be leaving. Maggie May is being adopted, her kittens are looking for homes, and kittens Cookie and Jelly Bean will go to ARL through the Foster Finder program this week.
The young woman lives not far from where I would be at the Pet Expo, and Debby was planning to stop down to see me there. I mentioned that they should just meet at the expo to save themselves some travel time ans so they did…caught trafficking in cats once again! But these two sweet little girls are cleaned up and well fed already, and heading to the vet.
Thanks to everyone who spends weekends helping rescue cats out of bad situations, getting them spayed and neutered, feeding them, socializing them, showing them for adoption, and just for caring. We can’t save them all, but we can help as many as we can, hundreds every year.
- Petties 2014
Read more about the Petties in this post.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!